The Glory Days Of American Watchmaking

When he visited the World’s Fair in Philadelphia in 1876, Swiss watchmaker Jacques David was alarmed by the rapid growth of American industry. His letter to his colleagues remains famous, as it triggered a strong wave of modernisation in the Swiss industry. We take a look back at the most successful years of the Made in USA watch.

Indirectly, Swiss watchmaking owes a debt of gratitude to American industrial genius. Indeed, it was the threat of obsolescence in the face of US productivism that set in motion a major project to modernise the working structures of the Swiss watch industry at the end of the 19th century. Something similar would happen again a century later, in the face of the performance of the Japanese quartz watch…

America was built on the conquest of new territories and the advance of the railways deeper and deeper into the Wild West. Watchmakers played a major role in this undertaking by providing time measurement tools to coordinate this progress and avoid accidents in a very large country with a multitude of time zones. For the needs of the railway and the conquest of the West, American watchmakers worked hard to accelerate production, quickly moving … Continue reading...

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A History of USA Military Wristwatches WW2

To the World War II vet this may be a Hamilton, to the Vietnam vet it’s a plastic Benrus, and to the soldiers in the sandbox it’s anything from a Marathon to a Casio G-Shock. While many of the pieces are military specified, others are commercial watches favored by fighting men and women. What is a military specified timepiece? Essentially it’s a United States Defense standard, often called a military standard and abbreviated MIL-STD, MIL-SPEC or (informally) MilSpecs. These are used to help achieve standardization objectives by the U.S. Department of Defense. Standardization helps ensure that products meet certain requirements, commonality, reliability, total cost of ownership and compatibility with logistics systems. The military has been “specifying” equipment standards for well over a century. Virtually any company can make a product that conforms to published military specifications; however, there’s a difference between military spec and military issued. A military issued product is one that has been selected and awarded a contract for manufacture by the Department of Defense and becomes a line item on a government budget. Many commercially available watches conform to MIL-SPEC and may even appear in combat, but were never procured by the government. With MIL-PRF (Military Performance … Continue reading...

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